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Atomic Baby: Linda Hayes with The Red Callender Sextette [1953]

A re-worked, jazzy take on the song previously recorded, but unreleased, by R&B artist Amos Milburn. In this version Linda Hayes is "the atomic baby that's raising all the sass" which only serves to increase the sexual dimension of the track. The song is sung with a delicious taunting quality that makes it a worthy companion piece to Milburn's record.

Linda Hayes, originally from Elizabeth, New Jersey, recorded primarily for the Hollywood Records label (the name was originally 'Recorded in Hollywood' but changed in late 1953). Her first record with the company was Big City (Parts One And Two) was given a major push in trade ads ("The greatest R&B record ever"). Hayes' next record was an answer song to Willie Mabon's I Don't Know titled Yes I Know (What You're Putting Down). Both of Hayes' initial singles did well enough for her to play the Apollo in New York City. In April of 1953 Hayes appeared with fellow Atomic Baby cover performer Amos Milburn (though his version was left unissued for decades) at Newark's Laurel Gardens. Also appearing on this bill were The Orioles.

In 1954 Hollywood Records owner Don Pierce sold off Hayes' contract to King and her first record for that label was another answer song, My Name Ain't Annie. By 1956 Hayes's career was overcome by the tidal wave of rock 'n' roll and King did not renew her contract. She did receive momentary career reprieves from Mercury and then Antler, but nothing came of these contracts. It is unknown as to what became of Hayes after the '50s.

Red Callender, who was born George Sylvester Callender in Haynesville, Virginia in 1916, was a constantly in-demand studio musician (bassist and tuba) for most of his life. Callender, who resided in Los Angeles, California, for the majority of his career, released the album Speaks Low for Crown in 1954 and his songwriting talents served up a top ten hit (Primrose Lane) for Billy Wallace in 1959. In 1964 Callender played with Charles Mingus at the Monterey Jazz Festival. In 1985, he published his autobiography, Unfinished Dream.

LYRICS/TRANSCRIPTION:
Atomic Baby: Linda Hayes with The Red Callender Sextette [1953]

I was born in Jamaica, raised by a businessman
Yeah, I was born in Jamaica, raised by a businessman
I'm the atomic baby that's been raising all the sass
I've got a high potential and a low resistance point
Yeah, high potential, low resistance point
Better handle me with care or baby I'll blow up the joint

I can heat your room, light your light
If I start your motor, it'll run all night
Atomic baby, atomic baby
I'm the atomic baby
Better handle me with care

See baby, watch me closely, don't let me cross your wires
Yeah, watch me closely, don't let me cross your wires
Got a chain reaction that could set this world on fire

They can build them small, can build them large
But that they can't build a motor that'll stand my charge
Atomic baby, atomic baby
I'm the atomic baby
Better handle me with care

Well, I'm a little bitty mama
I don't need a whole lot of room
Yeah, teeny, weeny mama
Don't need a whole lot of room
If I ignite your rockets, I'll shoot you to the moon

Linda Hayes with The Red Callender Sextette [1953]
Atomic Baby
(F. Hayward and M. Tucker)
Hollywood 407

CATEGORY: SONGS: ATOMIC[ 1 | COMMENTS | May 10, 06 | 4:09 am ]

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